Spring Cleansing Cooking Class

Is green juice really enough to cleanse your body? While constantly "abusing" the liver, "10-day detox program" only n Spring might not help "fatty liver" much, a condition 1/3 Americans are considered to have. We made some "liver nourishing" dishes in March cooking class.

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Spring is the time for cleansing and detox. And many people go on green juice or whatever detox program. But the question is,  is green juice really enough to cleanse your body?

first off,  why it’s spring? (why not summer or fall or winter detox?)

Spring is the season when the weather warms up. When the weather is cold in winter, everything is tight, rigid, & hard.  But as the temperature goes up, things start to relax, and move around, or come out.

For example, ice & snow melt, go into the stream and the water moves along the river. Or soil starts to soften, then plants, flowers come out, even insects, animals, birds all come out. And that’s the Spring energy.

Now, the same things happen inside our body. During the winter, our body and muscle are very tight.  But as the weather warms up, muscles and tissues relax, then fat & wastes accumulated inside our body cells start to melt, just like snow, and go into the blood stream, then circulate all over the body, trying to come out.

In other words, in Spring, our blood tends to be a bit muddy, dirtier. And the dirty blood needs to be cleansed or detoxed. That’s why spring is the cleansing season.

And when the dirty blood is circulating, trying to come out , you may experience some uncomfortable symptoms such as sneezing, running nose, swollen, red eyes, or even skin rash and all the seasonal allergies.

in Eastern medicine, it’s calleddischarge”

Now, there is an organ responsible for this blood cleansing.  That’s liver.

Every min, about 2 pounds of blood goes through the liver, which amounts to more than 3000 lbs per day. (1400-1500kg) And the liver breaks down toxins and any impurities in the blood so that healthy blood can circulate and nourish each and every cell.

Not just blood cleansing, but liver has more than 500 functions. So the liver is a very busy, very hard working organ, but especially in spring. In Eastern medicine, therefore, liver is called “spring organ”.  

Now, what are we doing to this hard working organ? Constantly abusing it! With so called "liver stressors" such as fatty foods, alcohol, sugar, over-eating, late-night snacking, processed food, medicines,  and so on.

In fact, 90 million Americans, roughly 1/3 of population have this condition called “fatty liver”, which causes inflammation all over the body, and increase the risk of diabetes and heart attack. 

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Now, back to my first question. 

Is it enough? Green juice, just 10 days in Spring?  Really? 

In my opinion, the true “detox, or cleansing” is beyond green juice in Spring. The true detox is to take a good care of the liver all through the year.

And now, here are what we can do for your liver.

First stop abusing it, avoid or cut down all the liver stressors mentioned above, especially in Spring because the liver is extra busy, cleansing dirty blood. You don’t want to add extra job or stress.

In other words, even if you are drinking green juice, yet if you are still doing all these things, you are not really doing cleansing or detox.

The other thing you can do is, feed your liver with its favorite foods. so called, “liver nourishing/friendly foods” or “cleansing, detox foods” such as dark leafy greens, barley, natural sour flavor (lemon, sauerkraut etc), miso, umeboshi plum,  and all the other fiber rich foods. 

Those foods, you can eat on a regular basis, but again, especially in Spring to support your liver. 

Now, last but not least,  here are 3 tips for “Eating in Spring”. 

1 Eat lots of leafy greens

2 Light cooking, light seasoning (& salt)

3 Emphasize sour & bitter flavor

Take a very good care of your liver this season~!

Menu for the cooking class 3/19/2016

1 Soft (pressed) barley & green salad w/ ume-soy dressing

2 No-fry croquette w/ miso-amazake sauce

3 Lemon-miso soup

* Earl grey infused dried apricot